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For ancient cultures, the hearth was the center of the home.
It was the provider of warmth through the harsh winter months,
and also provided heat for cooking all meals. It was the
gathering place of the household.
Fire has a special attraction for all of us. Within its
smoke and flame lie the origin of many religions.
Fire, the element of transformation, causes change to occur. It can be
destructive, but through destruction comes creation.
The fire in the house was never allowed to die. It was considered
unfortunate if the household fire went out during the night.
If this occurred, hot coals would need to be borrowed from neighbors.
If the coals died while being transported home, it was an omen
that the family would have an unlucky future.
Today, the fireplace is viewed as the heart of the home, as well as an altar to natural forces that shape our work. Because the chimney is regarded as a
“magical entrance” to the home, it has been magically guarded.
Plants can be utilized for this. Olive branches hung on the chimney
serve to ward against lightning strikes. Pine needles scattered in the fireplace
work in a similar manner.
Crossing fireplace tools in front of the fireplace is said to prevent sparks from popping out onto the floor. A jar of salt on the hearth can be used
during any period of argument or tension: throw a pinch on the flames, and its cleansing powers will bless your home.
Three circles drawn in white chalk on the hearth will
ban evil from entering.
According to folklore, fire must have at least thirteen sticks
in order to burn properly.
When the fireplace was cold, witches would rake the ashes into a circle,
then cast spells within the circle.
A fire is useful for transformative spells, such as those utilizing
rosemary or rose petals, which are cast into the flames. Combining
this with the proper visualization would bring love to the spell-maker.
Nettles thrown into the fire will conquer fear.
The type of wood being burned can affect your spells. Use oak for healing magic, for instance, when someone in the home is sick.
This wood helps to draw off the illness and protects the rest of the household.
Ash logs promote energy, while pine brings money into the home.
Hestia was the Goddess of the Hearth. She was felt to be present in the living flame at the center of the home or temple. Hestia’s symbol was the circle; her first hearths were round. The home (or temple) was not sanctified until Hestia entered. She made these places holy when she was there. She was considered a spiritually-felt presence as well as a sacred fire that provided illumination and warmth.
Even though she was greatly honored, she was the least known of the Greek goddesses. She was the first child born to Rhea and Cronos. In the Roman pantheon she is known as Vesta, and her mythology appears in three Homeric hymns.
Come Vesta, to live in this Beautiful Home,
Come with warm feelings of friendship.
Bring your intelligence,
Your energy and your Passion
To join with your Good Work.
Burn always in my Soul.
You are welcome here.
I remember you.
Aphrodite caused Poseidon and Apollo to fall in love with Hestia. She refused them both, taking an oath to remain “a woman unto herself.”
Hestia’s significance is found in rituals symbolized by fire. For example, whenever a new couple would venture out to start a new home, Hestia would come with them, representing the sacred fire and linking the old home with the new. This symbolizes continuity and relatedness. Hestia’s fire provided warmth and sanctified the home.
Hestia was often associated with Hermes, the messenger god. He was an eloquent deity, a protector of travellers and god of speech. In households, Hermes and Hestia were related but separate. Hestia provided the sanctary for the bonding together of the family; Hermes was the protector at the door.
The Hestia archetype represents focused consciousness. Her way of perceiving is inward and intuitive. This archetype allows us to get in touch with our values by focusing on what is personally meaningful.
Your house receives energy from the many forces surrounding it, and in turn sends out its own unique energy. After you have “cleansed” you home, it can function both as a collector and transmitter of energy. In order to achieve this harmonizing effect, follow the four steps of house clearing.
The four steps are:
These steps form the framework for the clearing of your home.
Before a house clearing, it is best to clean your home. Give your entire home a thorough cleaning, which will facilitate the clearing, and give your home a stronger energy field.
The day before, prepare all your tools by: purify them by moving them through smoke. Purify the clothes you will wear during the ceremony. Before retiring for the night, ask Spirit to work with you to prepare you for the cleansing. Upon rising the next day, meditate and ask for guidance. Visualize yourself going from room to room, cleansing each room. Then take a salt bath. Add a pound of salt to your water and soak for twenty minutes. Rise off after your bath. Put on the clothes that you prepared the night before. Do not wear jewelry. It is preferable to work with shoes on. Gather together the items you will be using for the cleansing.
Before you can instill new energy fields in a home, it is important to cleanse the overall energy first. Energy can become stagnant and this affects the health of all the home’s occupants. Before beginning, stand back and listen to the room’s energy. Visualize clearly the finished project. With this vision in mind, use your most powerful tool to break up the energy and move it around the room. Hold in your mind the intention for the clearing. Some other suggestions: open to energy flowing through your body; expand your aura to fill the room; offer prayers; sensitize your hands.
Circle the room by starting in the eastern corner of the room. Use your receiving hand to perceive places of erratic or stagnant energy. Use your power hand to do the clearing with a rattle, bell, water sprayer, or salt. Keep circling the room as the energy becomes lighter. There are several ways to perceive when the room has been cleared:
Colors look brighter
Sounds are clearer
You can breathe more deeply
You feel lighter
Invocation fills the home with radiant light and clear energy. It is essential that you call energy into the home after it has been cleared. You can use the same tools, but the intention is different. You have the Intention of calling energy instead of clearing it. When you sanctify the home you are asking the Goddess to fill your home. You are calling forth an energy of healing and love. Some suggestions: be specific; open to energy flowing through your body; expand your aura to fill the entire home.
Offer prayers by stilling your mind and asking that the home be filled. Stand in the room that feels most central to the home and offer your prayer.
Once your have cleared the home and have invoked new energy, it is helpful to preserve the energy you have called in. For example, take a quartz crystal that has been cleansed and dedicate the crystal to balance and peace within the home. Place the crystal in a central location so that it can continue to radiate balanced, peaceful energy.
The Charge of the Kitchen Witch
Simplicity Practicality Creativity Beauty Love
The kitchen can be considered a sacred space in the home. It is a creative area for one’s spiritual path. In the kitchen, it is easy to realize that magic is not just for rituals, but is an everyday expression of reverence, love, and positive energy.
As a beginning ritual, before preparing any food, light a candle, or sprinkle some tap water around the kitchen. Cleaning the preparation area, both physically and spiritually, is a good habit. Say a small prayer or incantation before beginning.
The Kitchen Goddess
How will your kitchen honor the Goddess?
Choose the Goddess that best reflects your path. Or, choose the
Goddess that embodies the celebration at hand.
For example, if you follow the Celtic path, honor Cerridwen in your kitchen. Invoke her image and ask
for her guidance as you work.
A blessing upon your new home,
A blessing upon your new hearth,
A blessing upon your new dwelling,
Upon your newly kindled fire.
A blessing upon your tallest grass,
A blessing upon your fruitful partner,
A blessing upon your growing son/s,
Upon your growing daughter/s.
A blessing upon the household’s helpers,
A blessing upon the children yet unborn,
A blessing upon the wise parents,
Upon your occupation.
A blessing upon your goods and income,
A blessing upon your kith and kin,
A blessing upon you in light or darkness,
Each day and night of your lives.
–The Carmina Gadelica
The Sewing Room
Handmade quilts are perfect for the magickal household. Quilts can have intricate, magickal designs; knot and interlacing patterns are considered fortunate, as well as floral or herbal designs. Quilts with square blocks are considered a hindrance to sleep; the Rising Sun patterns is said to be one of the luckiest patterns.
Quilts should be treated as a magickal furnishing: tradition says to wash them in melted snow to ensure that the deceased maker will rest gently in the hereafter.
The first time you sleep under a new quilt, your dreams will come true.
Empowering your crafts
Determine your magickal need
Determine the best project to fulfill this need
Use only natural materials, if possible
Gather supplies with your goal in mind
Work on one project at a time
Create the project with ritual intent
Send energy into the project during creation
Use the completed project
Bed and Bath
The bedroom is the center of one of our most mysterious processes–sleep. Sleep can be used as a type of magic. In ancient times, priestesses and priests interpreted dreams as messages of the future, possibly advice from a deity.
A Victorian young woman would cast spells in order to dream of her future husband. Also, the tradition of dumb cakes, originating in England, were prepared to induce dreams of future love. No sound was uttered during preparation. Once prepared, the cake was marked with the woman’s initials and laid under her pillow. This was done on a Friday night for best results.
Sleep or dreams can play a prominent part in rituals– such as chanting a spell to cause drowsiness, or controlling a dream by causing it to accomplish magical goals.
Many believe we travel in our sleep. When we close our eyes and still our minds, astral projection may occur.
In folklore, types of beds are a subject of interest. For example, feather beds were thought to be protective against lightning. Many people would lay on their beds during thunderstorms.
The ideal position for a bed is parallel with the room’s floorboards (if they are visible). This is so that energies running through the house won’t encounter any obstruction.
There are also certain types of sleeping positions:
The head pointing North is said to increase stability and calmness. This seems to be the ideal direction, since North is a source of magical power.
Folklore indicates sleeping with the head pointing South leads to weariness and disease. This may also cause or aggravate insomnia.
The East is associated with religion and spirituality. In this direction the Sun and Moon rise, which brings about the belief that you should sleep East to West following the natural course of the heavenly bodies.
Sleeping with the head pointing West ensures love and spirituality, and promotes psychic ability. Dream magic can be practiced this way. It is also recommended for artists since it is used to promote creativity.
Turn your mattress at the wane of the moon, from the full to the new. This is said to keep them flatter, since the Moon’s powers of attraction are the weakest.
There are three types of dreams:
psychic indicators of the present, past, or future
half-recalled memories of astral projection
wish fulfillment and mental ramblings
Keeping a dream diary
Keeping a dream diary can be personally insightful. It provides clues to past lives. It can help in problem-solving. It sometimes teaches important mystical principles, since it serves as a record of any reappearing spirit-guide or a recurring metaphorical sequence. The longer you keep a record of your dreams, the better you can understand their symbolism. Use these recurring symbols in meditation in order to focus and inspire special responses in your behavior.
Keep a journal or notebook by your bed. Meditate quietly in bed before going to sleep. Use a dream affirmation to help you remember your dreams. A simple statement such as “I will remember all my dreams tonight” can help your dream recall in the morning. You can even request a dream from your patron goddess.
When recording your dreams, try to remember as much detail as you can. Also record anything relevant that happened the day before that would have an influence on your dreams: the weather, a quarrel, a TV show, etc. Record the date and time you awoke.
When reading over your dream descriptions, try to analyze it. What type of dream is it? Determine its importance. If it is a psychic dream, decide how you will act on it.
Herbs at Bedtime
To ensure sleep:
stitch a 6-inch pillow. Stuff it half full with cotton batting, then fill it with celery seed. Sleep with this pillow on top of your regular pillow. The scent should cause drowsiness.
Drink tea made from anise, chamomile, parsley, valerian, clover, lavender, woodruff, dill, and/or verbena. Valerian is the best one to use, but the other ones can be combined for a relaxing tea before bedtime.
To promote psychic dreams:
sleep on a pillow of mugwort
sip a glass of warm rosebud tea
To promote love:
orris powder between the sheets
musk, patchouli, rosemary or vanilla incense
The bath can be a major part of the magical ritual. Bathing is a reunion with the element of water.
To purify the body, spirit, and soul: add salt to the bath and soak. The salt neutralizes negativity and lends strength to the body.
Folklore suggests that we bathe on the Winter Solstice or Beltane with a penny wrapped in a washcloth. This is to ensure good luck.
The bath is a wonderful place to meditate. Begin your meditation this way:
Inner world, of caverns and candles, I come to you.
Between yesterday and forever, I float.
Between the waves of dawn and darkness, I float.
Here, with the light of morning dancing to the rhythm of my heart
And the winds of day singing with each breath,
I am touched by the waters of a universe,
Until nothing exists but the soul in flight,
And the simple peace of knowing I am.
Add some herbs to your water:
For relaxation: lavender, sage, chamomile, tangerine rind, sandalawood, rose, thyme, or vanilla
For energy: rosemary, rosewood, patchouli, peppermint, juniper, lemon, lime, bay, or yarrow
For uplifting the spirits: geranium, orange peel, jasmine, or rosemary
Light a candle. Play some soft music. Burn a small bit of incense.
Full Moon Bath
Fill the tub half-full of water (not too hot). Dip a quart of this water in a glass bowl. Hold this bowl outside for a few moments; let the moon’s light shine on the water. Then return inside and add the water back into the bath.
Add one half-cup of milk and a bit of lemon peel to the water.
Light a white candle.
Burn jasmine incense; alternatively, burn lotus, gardenia or sandalwood incense.
Bathe, feeling the moon’s power flowing through you; nurturing you; comforting you.
Close your eyes and visualize the moon directly above you.
When finished, dry off and go about regular activities. Realize that you have attuned yourself to the moon and have become strengthened.
Below are listed the major gods and goddesses known in
Welsh mythology, along with a listing of magical powers
associated with them.
Arianrhod (ari-an-rod): “Silver Wheel”; star or sky goddess; goddess of reincarnation; Full Moon goddess. Her palace is called Caer Arianrhod (Aurora Borealis). She is the Keeper of the circling Silver Wheel of Stars, a symbol of karma. Mother of Lleu Llaw Gyffes and Dylan by her brother Gwydion. Her original consort was Nwyvre (Sky or Firmament). Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess, honored at the Full Moon. Beauty, fertility, reincarnation.
Blodeuwedd (blod-oo-eeth): “Flower Face”; “White Flower.” Lily maid of Celtic initiation ceremonies. Also known as the Ninefold Goddess of the Western Isles of Paradise. Created by Math and Gwydion as a a wife for Lleu. She was changed into an owl for plotting Lleu’s death and for her adultery. She is the Maiden form of the Triple Goddess; her symbol is the owl. Flowers, lunar mysteries, initiations.
Branwen (bran-oo-en): Sister of Bran the Blessed and wife of the Irish king Matholwych. Daughter of Llyr; one of the three matriarchs of Britain; Lady of the Lake (cauldron). Goddess of love and beauty.
Brid (breed): “Power”; “Renown”; “Fiery Arrow or Power” (Breo-saighead); called the poetess. Often called the Triple Brigids, the Three Mothers; associated with Imbolc. She had an exclusive female priesthood and an ever-burning sacred fire. The number of her priestesses was nineteen, representing the nineteen-year cycle of the Celtic Great Year. Goddess of fire, fertility, and the hearth. Healing, inspiration, learning, divination, love, witchcraft.
Cerridwen: Moon Goddess; Great Mother; grain goddess; goddess of Nature. Wife of the giant Tegid and mother of a beautiful girl Creirwy and an ugly boy Avagdu. Welsh Bards called themselves Cerddorion (sons of Cerridwen). The Bard Taliesin, their founder, was said to be born of Cerridwen and to have tasted a potent brew from her magic cauldron of inspiration. This potion, known as ‘greal,’ was made from six plants for inspiration and knowledge. Taliesin accidentally drank the remaining three drops of the liquid. Her symbol was a white sow. Death, fertility, regeneration, inspiration, magic, astrology, herbs.
Creiddylad/Cordelia : Daughter of the sea god Llyr. Associated with Beltane and often called the May Queen. Goddess of summer flowers. Love, flowers.
The Crone: One aspect of the Triple Goddess. She represents old age, death, Winter, the waning Moon, all destruction that comes before regeneration through her cauldron of rebirth. Crows are sacred to her. Dogs would accompany her and guard the gates of her after-world, helping her receive the dead.
Don/Donn: “Deep Sea”; “Abyss;” goddess of sea and air. Sometimes referred to as a goddess, sometimes a god. Control of the elements, eloquence.
Great Mother: The Lady; female principal of creation. Goddess of fertility, the Moon, love, healing, water. The index finger was considered the “mother finger,” the most magical which guided, beckoned, blessed and cursed.
The Morrighan: “Great Queen”; “Queen of Phantoms”; “Specter Queen”; a shape-shifter. Reigned over the battlefield, helping with her magic. Associated with crows and ravens. The Crone aspect of the goddess; Great Mother; Moon Goddess; Great White Goddess; Queen of the Fairies. In her Dark Aspect (the symbol is then a raven) she is the goddess of war, fate and death. The carrion crow is her favorite disguise. Goddess of rivers and lakes. Patroness of priestesses and witches. Revenge, night, magic, prophecy.
Rhiannon (rhi-an-non): Her name translates into “The Great Queen” or “divine.” She is a symbol of fertility, but is also a death goddess. She is a bringer of dreams, and is regarded as a moon deity.
Goddess of horses and birds, enchantments and the Underworld, she rides a white horse.
She was married both to Pwyll and Manann. Her stories appear in the Mabinogion.
In magic, she aids in overcoming enemies, exercising patience, moon rituals, and dream work.
Arawn (ar-awn): the King of Hell; god of Annwyn, the underground kingdom of the dead. Revenge, war.
Bran (bran): A giant; “the blessed.” Brother of the mighty Manawydan ap Llyr and Branwen; son of Llyr. Associated with ravens. God of prophecy, the arts, war, the Sun, music.
Cernunnos (ker-noo-nos): The Horned God; God of Nature; god of the Underworld and the Astral Plane; The Druids knew him as Hu Gadarn, the Horned God of fertility. He was portrayed sitting in a lotus position with horns on his head, sporting a beard, and wearing a neck torque; sometimes holding a spear and shield. His symbols are the stag, ram, and horned serpent. Virility, fertility, animals, Nature, reincarnation, wealth, warriors.
Dylan: Son of the Wave; god of the sea. Son of Gwydion and Arianrhod. His symbol was a silver fish.
Govannon (gov-ann-on): “Great Smith”; one of a triad of craftsmen (with Luchtaine the wright and Credne the brazier). Similar to Vulcan. He forged weapons that always hit their mark. God of blacksmiths, jewelry making, fire, metal-working.
Great Father: The Horned God. Lord of the Winter, harvest, land of the dead, animals, mountains, powers of destruction and regeneration; the male principle of creation.
The Green Man: See Cernunnos. A horned deity of the woodlands. In Old Welsh his name is Arddhu (The Dark One).
Gwydion (Gwi-dee-on): Druid of the mainland gods; son of Don; brother of Govannon, Arianrhod and Amaethon. Wizard and Bard of North Wales. A many-skilled deity (like Lugh); a shape-shifter. His symbol was a white horse. Greatest of the warrior-magicians. Illusion, magic, healing.
Gwynn ap Nudd (gwin ap neethe): King of the Fairies and the underworld. Later he became king of the Plant Annwn, the subterranean fairies.
Gwythyr (gwee-theer): Opposite of Gwynn ap Nudd. King of the Upper World.
Llud (hlood) of the Silver Hand: “He who bestows wealth”; “the Cloud- Maker.” Similar to Neptune. He had an invincible sword. God of healing, water, the Sun, youth, carpenters, historians, writing, warfare, incantations.
Llyr (thleer): God of the sea, and possibly of the underworld. The father of Manawyddan, Bran the Blessed, and Branwen.
Lugh (loo or loog): The Shining One; Sun god; god of war; “many- skilled”; “fair-haired one”; a hero god. His feast is Lughnassadh, a harvest festival. Associated with ravens. His symbol was a white stag. Son of Cian and Ethniu. Lugh had a magic spear and rod-sling. He was a carpenter, mason, smith, harper, poet, Druid, and physician. War, magic, reincarnation, lightning, water, journeys, poets, musicians, sorcerers, healing, initiation.
Manawydan ap Llyr (man-au-yth-an ap thleer): dressed in a green cloak and a gold headband; a shape-shifter. Son of the sea god Lir. He had a palace called Emhain of the Apple Trees. His swine constantly renewed themselves and were a chief source of food that would keep people from aging. He had famous weapons: two spears called Yellow Shaft and Red Javelin; swords named The Retaliator, Great Fury and Little Fury. His boat was called Wave Sweeper, and his horse Splendid Mane. He had magic armor that prevented wounds and could make warriors invisible at will. God of the sea, storms, weather-forecasting, arts, commerce, rebirth.
Math Mathonwy (math math-on-oo-ee): God of sorcery, magic enchantment.
Myrddin (meer-din): Great sorcerer; a Druid. Associated with the fairy religion of the Goddess. Old Welsh traditions called him a wild man of the woods with prophetic skills. He is said to have learned all his magic from the Lady of the Lake. Tradition says he sleeps in a hidden crystal cave. Illusion, shape-shifting, herbs, healing, Nature, divination, crystal reading, tarot, magic, artisans.
Pwyll (pe-ool): Occasionaly ruler of the Underworld. Also known as Pwyll pen Annwn (Pwyll head of Annwn). Cunning.
Taliesin (tal-i-ess-in): Prince of Song; Chief of the Bards of the West. Patron of Druids, Bards and minstrels; a shape-shifter. Writing, poetry, wisdom, wizards, Bards, music, knowledge, magic.
Aer (air): Goddess of war and goddess of the River Dee.
Amaethon: God of agriculture.
Arthur/Arth Vawr (Heavenly Bear): King and leader of the Knights of the Round Table. The Round Table symbolized the goddess Arianrhod’s Silver Wheel of rebirth, and the Grail the sacred cauldron of inspiration and reincarnation.
Caradawc: “Strong-armed”; Son of Bran.
Cwn Annwn (koon anoon): hounds of Arawn, later called hell hounds. They are usually seen as a portent of death.
Cyhiraeth (kerherrighth): Goddess of streams. Later she became like a Banshee.
Elaine: Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess in Arthurian legend.
Evnissyen (ev-ness-jen): “Lover of Strife”; a giant. Half-brother of Bran.
Iweridd (i-oo-er-ith): One of Llyr’s wives.
Kai (kay): A god of fire and smithing.
Margawse: Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess in Arthurian legend.
Morgan le Fay: Morgan the Fate; Death-goddess. Glamorgan in Wales is considered to be her sacred territory. She can cast a destroying curse on any man. Gawaine of the Round Table bore Morgan’s pentacle as a heraldic device on his shield.
Nissyen (ness-jen): “Lover of Peace”; a giant. Half-brother of Bran.
Owein ap Urien: God associated with ravens; Wisdom, magic, war, reincarnation.
Penardun: Daughter of the goddess Don; one wife of Llyr.
The Little People
A type of brownie. They are said to be
three feet high and to dress in brown clothes.
They have brown faces and shaggy hair.
Brownies consider themselves responsible for the house
where they live and come out at night
to complete any unfinished work.
An offer of a reward will drive them away, but they
expect a bowl of milk and some cake to be left out.
Tradition says they do not like teetotallers and ministers.
If offended, brownies
can become mischievous.
Said to be about 18 inches high
and to dress like miners.
Although said to be ugly, they are
good-humored and will knock where rich ores
are to be found.
Hounds of the Hill.
They are the hunting dogs
of the fairies.
Said to be very large and white, with red ears.
A form of banshee.
It usually cries before multiple deaths
by accident or epidemic.
Spirits dwelling in trees,
oaks in particular.
The Druids contacted them for inspiration.
Fairies whose queen is Mab.
Their food is toadstools and fairy butter
(a fungus found on the roots of old trees).
The earlier name was Fays.
The term fairy covers the Tylwyth Teg.
Some fairies are friendly, but others are wild
and alien to humans.
The subterranean fairies are those living in lakes
The Welsh called the fairies The Mothers
and considered Fairyland the Land of Women.
Gwartheg Y Llyn
The Plant Annwn
Fairies of the underworld.
The entrance is through lakes.
Their king is Gwynn ap Nudd. Gwragen Annwnis the Welsh name for their women.Their Speckled cattles are Gwartheg Y Llyn and their white dogs are Cwn Annwn.
A version of Puck,
but not like the Irish Phouka. They are helpful
if milk is left out,
but can also be mischievous.
Tylwyth Teg/The Fair Family
The most usual name for fairies.
If one wants to court their friendship,
they are called Bendith Y Mamau
(the Mother’s Blessing).
Welsh Faery Lore
The Celtic past of Wales includes some faery lore that was lost in England, a country more affected by the Roman and Norman invasions. In Wales there are tales of humans being trapped in the faery realm, especially by means of dancing. There are many tales of intermarriage between faeries and humans, and advice on how to make sure you actually have a fully human mate. Marriage in faeryland can be good or it can be an enslavement. You can never see family again, and may forget your human existence, but if you are happy, then the Welsh wish you well.
Wales is a country full of Celtic King Arthur lore. They related Arthur and Queen Guinevere to faery lore. Guinevere means “white phantom” and some believe her abduction by Arthur was an abduction by faeries of whom Arthur was king. He captured her in May, a month in which it was tradionally thought unwise to marry. This links both Arthur and Guinevere to the pagan belief that dieties, and nature spirits also, mate at Beltane. Guinever had knights who often dressed in green, a traditional color of the faeries, and they were all excellent horsemen, another faery trait. Morgan Le Fay, Arthur’s sister, was said to have lived underground, possibly a faery burgh.
The Land of the Dead in Arthurian Welsh tradition is called Avalon, and its description parallels the faery world. It is a land where you never get old, where your needs are fulfilled by thought, and rebirth is always near.
Welsh faeries are traditionally depicted as courtly, almost medieval appearance and they love horses. Welsh foklore cites red and white as the colors of the faery folk, colors repeated in the faery choice of dress and in their color of pets. Red and white are two of the three colors of the triple goddess, which seems to indicated how closely intertwined the faery lore is with pagan deities.
Wassailing the apple trees is an old Celtic custom involving going out to the oldest tree in the orchard, singing its praises while passing around a jug. This is thought to be a traditional ritual of heath and protection, which later became the Christmas custom of caroling. During the 19th century, guns were taken along on the wassail and shot into the branches to scare away owls and faeries. Owls were included since owls were often thought to be shapeshifted faeries.
How to connect with faeries
The best way to see faeries is to shift consciousness to enable yourself to peer into the astral world where they live. The various methods are: scrying, meditation, and astral projection. Shifted consciousness contacts with faeries are easier in natural surroundings. Look for faery mounds (“burghs”), the traditional home of faeries, or faery rings, trails, or islands. Faery islands such as Gresholm of Wales are full of faery legends.
You can invite faeries into your sacred circle. Summon the four directions and invite the faeries’ presence. Avoid using bells or other loud sounds, as this will frighten them away. Always stay within the protection of your circle until you get an understanding of their intent.
The flowering herb primrose is thought to be the source of the faeries’ invisibility (when this herb was brewed and drunk as a tea, it was found to open human eyes to the astral plane). To make magickal teas, try to have two tablespoons of dried herb per cup of tea. Consult with herbal texts for cautions as well as suggestions for herb combinations.
Burn jasmine incense to help induce an astral-level trance. Faeries are said to love the smell of jasmine. Sandalwood also is said to help astral projection.
Faeries love shiny stones such as marble or tiger’s eye. Their sacred and favored stone is the green emerald. Carry one with you when faery hunting.
Many trees associated with faeries in folklore are the same trees sacred to the Druids. Oak, ash, and thorn are the trees of Celtic lands which, when found all together are called the Faery Triad. These groves are sacred to the faeries, especially the Dryads, who instructed the Druids in the use of sacred tree magick.
Faeries are said to love strawberries. Set a few out as an offering when you are trying to contact them.
Many faeries are said to be most active around the Sabbats and the Esbats. Try hunting for faeries a few nights prior to the Sabbats in order to take advantage of the waxing energies naturally being raised around that time.
Green in traditionally the faeries’ favorite color. Try burning green candles to facilitate contact.
Faeries traditionally love music, so play the folk music of their native land to attract them to you.
Explore the world of faeries by reading traditional fairy tales, such as “Rumpelstiltskin.”
3 Keys of Druidic Mastery
To Keep Silent
3 Virtues of Wisdom
To Be Aware of All Things
To Endure All Things
To Be Removed From All Things
The Ogham Alphabet
The Druids did not use writing (“by the hand of man”) to record their stories and traditions. The Ogham tree letters, however, were used to record druidical works. Each Ogham letter was represented by a single leaf from the tree bearing its name. Sacred Druidic verse was represented this way because trees were considered “of the gods.”
Traditions say the first use of Ogham was as a warning to Lugh, saying that his wife would be carried away into faeryland unless birch guard her.
Letter Tree Welsh Name
B birch bedwen
L rowan cerdinen
F alder gwernen
S willow helygen
N ash onnen
H hawthorn draenen wen
D oak derwen, dar
T holly celynnen
C hazel collen
Q apple afal
M vine gwinwydden
G ivy eiddew, iorwg
NG broom/fern eithin/rhedynen
STR blackthorn draenen ddu
R elder usgawen
A fir/pine ffnidwydden/pinwydden
O gorse eithin
U heather grug
E aspen aethnen
I yew ywen
EA aspen aethnen
OI spindle piswydden
UI honeysuckle gwyddfid
IO gooseberry eirin Mair
(AE) beech ffawydden
The Wheel of the Year
The Wheel of the Year refers to the turning of the seasons, the turning of the year. In the Celtic calendar, there are eight Sabbats or holy days. Each of these eight Sabbats represents the turning of the wheel, and each one honors a stage in the life cycle of the Goddess and God. Time is seen as an eternal whole, forever turning and returning. The God is born, dies, and is reborn. The Goddess goes from childhood to motherhood, then to cronehood and back again in the cycle of change and renewal.
On or around December 21st.
On or around February 1st.
The Spring Equinox, March 22nd
The Summer Solstice, June 22nd.
August 1st or 2nd.
The Autumn Equinox, September 22nd.
The wheel turns again, and this time the wind begins to blow and the night time comes sooner than we want. Time to bring out coats and bundle up. Samhain is a Celtic festival, the time of year when the veil between the worlds is the thinnest. It is at this time that we think of our loved ones who have passed on to the Summerlands. It is a time of pulling back, a time of going within for deep meditation.
Samhain is celebrated in modern culture as Halloween. Samhain was originally a celebration of the third harvest, the first two being Lammas (Aug. 1) and the second being the Autumn Equinox. The final harvest is a harvest of nuts and fruits, corresponding to the ancient Roman festival of Pomona, Goddess of Fruit Trees.
It is the time of year of the crone. We meditate on Hecate.
Hecate was one of the oldest Greek versions of the trinitarian Goddess, Hecate, wise-woman, in command of all the hekau or Mother’s Words of Power. Hecate was one of the many names for the original feminine trinity, ruling heaven, earth, and the underworld. The Hellenes emphasized her crone, underworld aspect. Her images guarded three-way crossroads in ancient times, becoming known as “Hecate of the Three Ways.” She was invoked by those setting out on journeys. As a form of the Triple Goddess, she was associated with the moon in all three of her aspects. She was thought to be Hecate Selene, the moon, in heaven; Artemis on earth; and Persephone in the underworld. She was thought by some to be part of the Queen of Heaven trinity: Hebe the Maiden, Hera the Mother, and Hecate the crone. During the Middle Ages, she was known as Queen of the Ghostworld, or Queen of Witches.
The symbols for this time of year:
The Owl: a creature of the night, this animal is associated with the goddess Athena, goddess of wisdom. They are also thought to be messengers from the spirit world.
The Pumpkin: harvested at this time of year, the pumpkin is associated with the jack-o-lantern. In old Europe, candles were placed inside turnips to keep them from blowing out. This later evolved into the carved faces on pumpkins at Halloween. The candle represents the element of fire, but the flame also represents the spirit. Many types of spirits are said to appear to us as white light.
The Black Cat: It is though that the Egyptians were among the first to own cats as pets. In folklore cats are said to be able to sense the presence of the deceased. Black, in addition, is the color of the crone. Decorate your home with black cats to help remember to open your intuitive eye to the spirits gathering around us on Samhain.
Apples await the harvest at Samhain. They are associated with the realm of the spirits. Hera, the Greek goddess, had a magickal apple orchard, and the apple was sacred to Hel, Norse goddess of the underworld. It was thought that the apple was the fruit of immortality and resurrection. In the myth of Persephone, Hades made Persephone eat the seed of a pomegranate (similar to the apple) to ensure her return to him. The ancient custom of wassailing the apple trees was celebrated to ensure the renewed blossoming of the fruit each year. What is left of this ancient custom involves drinking a toast with hot apple cider, usually at Yule time. However, it probably orginated at Samhain when the apples were harvested.
Let’s Have Some Fun
The Halloween Tarot
Recipes for the Celebration of Samhain:
Fortuna Sweet Potatoes
Applesauce Nut Bread
Little Orphant Annie
by James Whitcomb Riley
Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’
An’ all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun
A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you
Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,–
An’ when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wuzn’t there at all!
An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’
An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an’ roundabout:–
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugn an’ grin,
An’ make fun of ever’ one, an’ all her blood an’ kin;
An’ wunst when they was “company,” an’ old folks wuz there,
She mocked ’em an’ shocked ’em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed
what she’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
An’ little Orphant Annie says when the blaze is blue,
An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!
An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,
An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,–
You better mind yer parunts an’ yer teachurs fond an’ dear,
An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry they orphant’s tear,
An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
The Halloween Tarot
Admittedly, this deck looks like a novelty deck, but several have readers have reported suprisingly good results in actual readings with the Halloween Tarot by Kipling West. This delightful deck has vibrant colors and images with a spooky yet humorous feel to the cards.
box front The suits are renamed as:
Ghosts –> Cups
Imps –> Wands
Bats –> Swords
Pumpkins –> Pentacles
Although the images are unique, they are admittedly reminiscent of the Waite-Smith images.
The deck is really a lot of fun. Various scenes of Halloween and some horror movies are depicted, along with several circus images and the German ‘vegetable people.’
Take a look at the Emperor and Empress card and you’ll see they are Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein. Look for the black cat in every card. Consider the cat your companion as you study and use the deck to make the fool’s journey.
6 of pumpkins Karin Lee is the writer of the little white booklet. She shares instructions for reading the cards along with some information on tarot history, the artist and the deck itself. Interpretations are fairly traditional yet helpful.
The chariot card is rather interesting in that it is depicted as a hearse. The Fool is depicted as a circus clown (clowns ARE scary, don’t you think?). I looked at my soul card which is the 8 in the major arcana– Strength. It is somewhat different than how I usually perceive it in that it is a circus trainer looking inside the lion’s mouth with a tongue depressor. The Hermit is depicted as a mad scientist, which I had a problem with at first– I always see the Hermit as a spiritual seeker, but I finally decided it was “OK.” The Death card actually is a very happy, upbeat card– happy pumpkins, smiling flower, smiling skeleton. Things could be worse. My favorite card is Temperance, depicting a wise woman in her kitchen, brewing something healing in her cauldron. The Tower card is delightful– the tower is depicted as a haunted house, with lightning striking one of the towers, and ghosts falling out around it.
Winter’s quiet with blowing snows,
Greets the night and halts all foes,
Till comes the light and She who knows.
Touch the stones with crystal veils,
The stag returns to tell a tale,
With lessons learned, the Goddess Hail!
Yule is the celebration of the Winter Solstice, the longest
night of the year. Occurring around December 21st, it is a time
to light candles and fires to help give fortitude to the returning sun.
Lucina is the Sun goddess celebrated in Sweden. Young girls
represent Lucina by dressing up in white gowns wearing
evergreen wreaths with candles in them on their heads.
The lighted candles, eight in all, represent the equinoxes
and solstices and the high points in between. The young girls
give out cookies on the streets at dawn to celebrate Lucina’s
gift of sharing food with those in need.
The symbols of Lucina include the yule tree, holly, and ivy.
The tree was her Tree of Life. The holly is a symbol
of rebirth and is used, along with ivy, for protection.
Saint Nicholas of Myra was a third centry Anatolian Bishop.
In western Europe he became Santa Claus, reminiscent
of the god Odin, who was a wanderer and shaman. Odin
travelled the world, appearing mysteriously, working magic,
Nicholas was also a miracle worker. He lifted his staff,
waved his hand, and harmony would be restored to its proper
balance. This archetype is the wanderer, the seeker of wisdom.
You can access the archetype by meditating on the image of
St. Nicholas. Focus on the energy of this archetype and allow
it to enter your being. Be a wonder worker and seeker of
Trees, Herbs, and Druids
The ancient Druids would pick mistletoe on the Solstice.
Ancient pagans would go into the forests during the full moon
of December or on the Solstice to give offerings to the evergreen,
symbol of immortality. This custom, they believed,
would ensure life through the harsh months of winter.
Powers: protection, luck, dream magic
Hung around the house for good luck at Yule
Folk name: Golden Bough, Witches Broom
Powers: protection, love, health
Kiss your love beneath the mistletoe and you will stay in
The Yule Log
According to custom, a huge limb is selected, brought inside, and
prepared for use. Carvings such as suns and other magical symbols
would be etched into it.
Light the Yule log on the evening before Yule. Ensure that it will
burn until morning. As you watch the fire, sip apple cider, a
traditional beverage on this night.
Norfolk Island Pine
The Norfolk Island pine grants protection against hunger and evil
if grown in the home.
Along with the pine tree, placing holly and mistletoe around
the house brings the essence of nature indoors during
the dark months. It refreshes the home’s energies.
** Pine ** Juniper ** Cedar **
Burn during all winter rituals and also to purify the home.
A magical cleansing bath gets rid of the past six months’ worries
and troubles. Mix pine, bay, and rosemary, tie them in cheesecloth.
Add them to the bath and soak.
December’s gem: turquoise
December’s moon: Cold Moon
Apples are thought to be sacred food associated with many
ancient deities. Ancient peoples would hang apples on the
Yule tree to symbolize their hope for the continuing fertility
of the Earth.
Eating an apple on Yule night ensures good health for the
coming year. Any dishes containing apple are appropriate for this
season, including mulled apple cider.
Gingerbread is the modern version of the ancient cakes
made from grain and honey, which were offered as
sacrifices to goddesses and gods at Yule. You can find several
gingerbread recipes on Annie’s Christmas page.
Swedish Yule Bread
1/2 t. saffron
3 T. hot water
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1/4 C warm water
1/4 C sugar, plus 1/4 t.
1 C milk, scalded
1/3 C butter
1 t. salt
4 C sifted flour
Combination of currants, candied fruits,
nuts, or raisins equaling 1 1/2 C
2 T. melted butter
Soak the saffron in the hot water for 1 1/2 hours. In a large bowl, dissolve the
yeast and 1/4 t. sugar in the warm water. Mix the milk, remaining sugar, butter, and salt;
cool. Add the egg, milk mixture, and saffron to the yeast; beat until smooth. Sprinkle
the dried fruit with two t. of the flour; mix until evenly coated. Mix the rest
of the flour with the yeast mixture. Fold in the dried fruits. Turn onto a well floured
surface; knead until smooth, about 12 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turn once.
Let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Knead dough twice. Divide into 24 pieces;
form into small buns. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Cover; let rise
until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F;
bake for 10 minutes. Brush the tops of the buns with melted butter; bake an additional
5 minutes. Yield: 2 dozen.
Magical attributes: Generosity, goodwill, service, empathy.
Easy Yule Log Cake
1 package commercial cake mix, preferably chocolate
2 cans (24 oz.) pre-made frosting in dark brown color
Several tubes of cake decoration frosting in green, red, and white
Preheat over to 300 degrees F. Grease and line a jelly roll pan with
waxed paper. Mix the cake according to package instructions and
pan. Bake the cake until just underdone. If you can’t tell by
looking, then use the knife test. When the knife emerges not quite
clean from the center of the cake, and when a light touch does
not bounce back easily, it needs to come out. Check the cake at
7 minutes, and then every 2 minutes after that. Do not overbake or
the dough will be dry and hard to work with. Remove the cake from
the oven and let it cool slightly. Remove the cake from the pan
by lifting out the waxed paper. With the dark frosting, coat the top
of the cake. Carefully lift one end of the cake and begin gently rolling
it up as if you were rolling up a map. When you are done, anchor
the cake with toothpicks and let it cook for about 5 more minutes.
Cool the cake for 30 minutes, then frost it with the dark brown
icing. Next, take the tubes of colored cake decorating frosting
and make holly and mistletoe over the top. You can also use
artificial greenery until it is time to eat the cake. To finish,
take a toothpick and etch lines into the frosting to resemble tree bark.
Imbolc is a time of rest and a period for replenishing the well of the self
for magic. It is a season of contemplation,
inspiration, and healing. It is a time for contacting
Take some time to work on your Book of Shadows. Think about creating
new rituals and spells. Tend to your physical needs with devotion.
Take a deep cleansing breath before spring chores come upon you once again.
Here is a solitary’s prayer for centering yourself, helping center on
your senses. It will help bring heightened awareness.
The five elements are represented; four cardinal points, then the center.
The center is your altar.
Light the candles at the four quarters while speaking each verse.
I am the cup,
The chalice of life
Molded by what I hold
Shaping what I pour
I am the waters of creation.
I am the sword,
Giver of death and spring
Edged by what is true
Cutting what is not
I am the fires of rebirth.
I am the censer,
Keeper of the air
Scented by what I touch
Moving with my will–
I am the winds of change.
I am the salt,
Purifier of Earth
Birthed by what is rock
Growing with the world
I am the spice of Mother.
I am the pentacle,
Circle of the void
Pointed by the elements
Beginning with my end
I am the essence of magic.
Have a large, white candle set up.
The energy of the night is released in your ritual,
bringing light to any shadows in your life.
When finished, blow the candle out to symbolize completion and fulfillment.
Bay and basil
For courage, vision and meditation
Sandalwood or vanilla
To bring greater concentration and increase psychic ability
To bring a greater sense of yourself, and your place in the universe
A white robe
To match the candle, emphasizing the increasing brightness of days ahead
The altar is unadorned at this time of year except for candles
This is to signify rest
Something light and simple
Rose water and some angelica wafers or biscuits
Vernal Equinox For 1998: March 20
Day dawns with blessings bright!
Darkness is gone, spirit’s night.
Goddess of Light I greet Thee!
Let your sacred light surround me!
Colors: white, pink, yellow
Moon Aspect: Storm Moon
Animals: Sheep, Rabbit
Resurrection of the Light of the World (Sun God)
Named for the Saxon goddess Eostre, a northern version of Astarte
Signifying renewal, regeneration, expectation
An excellent essay on Ostara is Mike Nichols’ information on Lady Day
The Demeter and Persephone myth, as told in
Lost Goddesses of Early Greece.
The goddess Demeter is known as the Grain-Mother. Her daughter,
Persephone, is the Grain-Maiden, representing the new crop. Demeter gave
mortals the gift of wheat: she taught them how to plant, cultivate, and harvest
the wheat, then grind it for food. Persephone also watched over the crops with
her mother. As Persephone spent long beautiful days with her mother, they
would talk together. Persephone was sensitive to the spirits of the dead hovering around
their earthly homes. She realized they did not understand their own state. She asks if there
was anyone in the netherworld to receive the newly dead. Demeter answers,
It is I who has domain over the underworld.
The underworld will fertilize the seed.
I know of the realm of the dead, by my work is here.
Demeter decided that she would go to them. Demeter told her of the gloom
of the underworld, and hoped her daughter would reconsider.
Persephone remained firm.
The mother and daughter hugged; as Persephone left, Demeter vowed that
for every day that Persephone remained in the underworld, she would mourn
her absence. In her sorrow she withdrew her power from the earth, hence
the months of winter and barrenness. Soon a ring of crocus pushed forth
from the earth, whispering “Persephone returns!” Demeter rushed to welcome
her daughter; everywhere around them echoed the happiness and rejoicing in
the new life of spring.
Coloring eggs using runes
Use Dagaz to represent the Dawn
It is the night of the Vernal Equinox, a night of balancing.
Tonight the darkness and the light are equal.
From this night, light will prevail over darkness.
I turn away from the dark and welcome the light.
The light within myself.
Goddess will help me.
She is in my heart in all seasons of the turning wheel.
She is myself.
The Autumn Equinox
The Autumn Equinox is a time of balance between light and dark, of good and evil. The day and night are of equal length at this time of year. After this, the nights will be longer than the days. It is a time of looking within, and preparing ourselves for the winter to come.
The zodiac sign is Libra, the balancing scales.
This celebration is also referred to as Mabon (“Sacred Son”), named after the Welsh God of fertility. Mabon is the second of three harvest celebrations. Most of the crops are harvested from the fields at this time. Nuts, apples, and grapes are the key food items. Gourds and squash are ready for harvesting. They are naturally decorative and colorful; consider decorating your home with baskets full. Indian corn is another good decorative item. Now is the time to select the ears of corn that will represent the Goddess as Bride at Imbolc (Feb. 1). Bring in the corn with ritual and honor as part of your celebration.
Grapevines also figure into the symbolism of the season. They can be used for decorating altars and for making wreaths. The vine is a symbol of the emptiness represented by the completed harvest.
The festival of “Harvest Home,” also occuring at this time of year, is Anglo-Celtic in origin, and was also a celebration of harvesting and thanksgiving. It had many of the same features as Mabon, such as cider pressing, grain threshing and feasting. Add prayers and songs of thanks to the celebration, for the many blessings received over the year.
In Ireland it was customary at this time of year to visit the ‘cairns’ (burial mounds) to honor dead ancestors. Women would decorate the graves at Mabon, while men prepared the feast site. Visiting the graves at this time of year was considered safe since the belief was that the balance between dark and light would act as an equal-armed cross for protection against negative spirits.
The Goddess descends to the dark underworld where she tends to the souls who have passed over. This is a symbolic act of defeating death and is celebrated as the Eleusian mysteries. These rites were the most famous festival in old Europe. It was believed that those who participated in the mysteries gained deep insight from the goddesses. Celebrants would follow in procession from Athens to Eleusis, then deposit sacred objects at the feet of Demeter. Torch Day would follow, when processions would begin again to symbolize the search for Persephone. The second day involved a ritual of purification, to wash away ignorance and to assume new grace. The third day was occupied with preparing an altar, burning incense, and pouring libations. The next day, processions anew. The fifth day, people marched continuously, carrying torches. This is the beginning of the mysteries.
Recipe — Baked apples is a wonderful way to enjoy the season. Find the recipe instructions here.
Full Moon aspect: the Harvest Moon
The Seasonal Message: create, prosper, appreciate!
Wild Wolf Woman
Finding the Authentic Woman Within
An Appreciation of:
Pinkola Estés, Clarissa, Women Who Run With the Wolves: myths and stories of the wild woman archetype. New York : Ballantine Books, 1995.
“We are all filled with a longing for the wild…
No matter where we are,
The shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed.”
Introduction: Singing Over the Bones
Wildlife and Wild Woman are both endangered species when feminine instincts are forced into unnatural rhythms.
Our environment suffers just as our own inner wild nature fades.
Healthy wolves and healthy women share common characteristics: keen sensing, playful spirit, and heightened capacity for devotion; they are relational by nature, inquiring, possessing endurance and strength; intuitive, concerned with their young, their mates, and their pack; adaptable to changing circumstances; stalwart and brave.
Living life as a disguised criatura, creature, forgetting the canto hondo, the deep song; but words come back when we do soul reclamation.
llamar o tocar a la puerta: the fairy tale knock at the door of the female psyche; when these words are heard, old memory is brought to life; kinship with the wild feminine–in our bones we know her.
She comes to us through vision; through sound; through the written and spoken word; a swift “taste of the wild” reminds us we haven’t given time to our creative life.
“When women reassert their relationship with the wildish nature, they are gifted with a permanent and internal watcher, a knower, a visionary, an oracle, an inspiratrice, an intuitive, a maker, a creator, an inventor, and a listener who guide, suggest, and urge vibrant life in the inner and outer worlds.”
All women are born gifted; when we understand the wildish nature as a being in its own right (one than animates our inner life), we can begin to develop in ways never thought possible.
Symptoms of a disrupted relationship with our wild nature:
feeling dry, fatigued, frail, depressed, confused, muzzled, unaroused.
feeling frightened, weak, without inspiration, without meaning, stuck, uncreative, compressed.
feeling powerless, shaky, life-sapping choices, inert, uncertain, faltering; afraid to bite back; afraid of the new
Healthy woman is like a wolf: Robust, strong life force, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving.
To find your wild nature means “[t]o establish territory, to find one’s pack, to be in one’s body with certainty and pride regardless of the body’s gifts and limitations, to speak and act in one’s behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate fiminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one’s cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as possible.”
Simplest and most accessible means of healing: stories, including dream material; interactive trancing, which is proximate to Jung’s active imagination; most times the guidng myth or fairy tale can be found, which contains the instruction a woman needs for psychic development.
Teaching women the “craft of making”: for example, the symbolic arts of talisman making.
Stories are medicine; stories are embedded with instructions; sometimes the cultural overlays disrupt the stories–e.g., Grimm’s fairy tales: the storytellers sometimes purified their stories–old pagan symbols overlaid with Christian ones, so that a wise healer becomes a evil witch, etc.; this is how many women’s teaching tales were lost.
Maiden, Mother, Crone
Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who of old was called Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Ceridwen, Diana, Arionrhod, Brigid, and by many other names:
“Whenever you have need of anything, once in the month,
and better it be when the moon is full,
you shall assemble in some secret place
and adore the spirit of Me who is Queen of all the Wise.
You shall be free from slavery,
and as a sign that you be free you shall be natural in your rites.
Sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My presence,
for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and Mine also is joy on earth.
For My law is love unto all beings.
Mine is the secret that opens upon the door of youth,
and Mine is the cup of wine of life
that is the Cauldron of Ceridwen
that is the holy grail of immortality.
I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal
and beyond death
I give peace and freedom and reunion with those that have gone before.
Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold,
I am the mother of all things and My love is poured upon the earth.”
Hear the words of the Star Goddess, the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven, whose body
encircles the universe:
“I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars
and the mysteries of the waters,
I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me.
For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe.
From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return.
Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold–
all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.
Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion,
honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.
And you who seek to know Me,
know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not,
unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek,
you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.
For behold, I have been with you from the beginning,
and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.”
~~~The Charge of the Goddess, adapted
generally attributed to Doreen Valiente
My Familiar, My Self
And feel a kindred spirit to my own,
So that henceforth I worked no more alone.
The cat is considered to be an animal of the Goddess. The cat is also the animal most often associated with witches. In Scotland, the Mother of Witches was called “Mither o’ the Mawkins” (cats).
The familiar (magical pet) was considered the mediator between the witch and the forces of nature. The familiar does not have to be a cat–it can be any animal. Animals live attuned to the rhythms of nature, and to develop a relationship with an animal is to become closer to that same attunement.
The ancestors of the domestic cat were revered by the ancient Egyptians. In Egypt, the cat was sacred to Bast (Cat-mother of the city of Bubastis) and Pasht. Bast was representative of the gentle aspects of the cat; Pasht represented the aggressive aspects. Egyptians gave the cat the name mau because of the sound it made. Sometimes the Egyptians depicted Ra in the form of a cat striking a serpent to symbolize the power of good over evil. So revered was the cat that after death, the temple cats of Bast were mummified and buried with great ceremony.
Cats were considered both a lunar and solar animal in ancient cultures. They were thought to be psychic, predicting oncoming disasters. People also thought they could influence the weather, due to their nervous behavior and vocal tendencies before electrical storms.
There are many other dieties connected with cats. Artemis sometimes took the form of a cat; Diana was called the Mother of Cats. The Roman goddess Liberty was often portrayed with a cat at her feet. In Norse myth, Freyja’s chariot was pulled by cats.
Cats in the Celtic traditions were associated with the Underworld and with prophecy. There are Irish legends telling of a cat called Little Cat, a guardian of treasure. In Wales, Great Cat was born of Henwen (an enchanted sow) and was considered a powerful being.
Black cats got a negative reputation during the Middle Ages. Because their eyes glowed brightly in the dark, and their body could not be seen, it seemed as if they could disappear at will.
Medieval belief in the cat’s nine lives may have arisen from the Egyptian Ennead through the mythic figure of the Ninefold Goddess. It was sometimes said that a witch could assume the shape of a cat nine times during her life.
Cat-power, come to me.
Friendly spirits I would see.
Let me see their face and form,
Knowing I am safe from harm.
Cat-power, come to me.
Friendly spirits I would see.
In Britain a black cat crossing the road or entering a house is considered
to be good luck.
A sneezing cat is said to bring good luck to a bride, as well as being a sign of rain.
If a stray cat comes to your home, money should follow.
If a black cat crosses a road, the next person passing gets a wish.
In Victorian divination, one would concentrate on a question and then watch a cat. If it entered the room right paw first, the answer to the question was yes.
The cat is a popular amuletic symbol to protect travelers on their journeys.
Balance, Wisdom, Reincarnation.
A cat catching a mouse may mean success, swift movement,
or quick decisions; a slumbering cat symbolizes a new sense of peacefulness
in your life. A cat is a time-honored symbol of magic;
look for an increase in your spiritual energy.
The Sacred Moon
Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
Tomorrow be today.
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Astrological info | Moon bath | Moon Goddesses
The moon rules over the instinctual processes, and the element of water.
This includes the ocean tides, plant and animal life, and the unconscious.
We are all powerfully affected by the cycle of the moon. Our emotions and energies seem tied to this rhythm of waning and waxing.
Some astrological information
We attune ourselves to the Maiden, Mother, Crone, the triad that resonates with us as Beginning, Middle and End.
Align yourself with the maiden, symbolized by the waxing moon, when working on prosperity, gaining health, and forming new plans. Start new projects and do inner work on spiritual growth.
Align yourself with the crone, symbolized by the waning moon, when working on getting rid of unwanted influences in your life. Work on removing or lessening obstacles in your life.
Candle correspondence: Yellow candle; Attune yourself to relationship issues. A time to find everything within yourself (except loneliness). Share life and come to know yourself through action rather than solitary reflection. Its attribute is Light of the sun. It begins to enlighten our inner wisdom. It provides clarity, alertness and optimism. It aligns the right use of will.
Take a full moon bath!
Candle correspondence: Blue candle. Attune yourself to communication. New ideas are to be explored.Time to relate creativity to the outside world. Resolve all personal conflicts within. Attribute: Builds knowledge; sharing, calming, vocal expression and communication. Aids in meditation, enhances inner attunement.
Last Quarter Moon
Candle correspondence: Purple candle. Attune yourself to simplification of life; crisis of consciousness through the power of the intellect. Time to come out of oneself and be freed by a spiritual vision; rid oneself of personal attachments. This is the color of transformation, from negative vibrations to positive ones. It balances the energy in the body and helps the mind and body flow more easily with life.
Candle correspondence: Pink candle. Attunement is to the power of personal advantage. It is a time to release the imperatives of the old cycle, to unite. To accept oneself. Attribute is universal love for self and for others. It draws love to you, removing sorrows and past hurts. Attunes one to love’s soothing presence in all of creation. Calming, protective, serene; security helps eliminate ego and brings more love vibrations. Improves relationships and eliminates animosity.
Candle correspondence: Black candle. Attunement: you cannot see the Moon now; it is invisible to us. End of phase and new cycle begins; a time to have new ideas. Begin new things, maintain pure joy of being. Attribute: Protection; creates a shield for the beginning of the cycle. A white candle may be used to represent Maiden phase– new beginnings.
Candle correspondence: Orange candle. Attunement: The moon is barely visible; a time to seek out adventures, to organize, and to strengthen individual will. Attribute: represents the zest of life with the aid of stability. Helps bring forth courage and optimism.
First Quarter Moon
Candle correspondence: Red candle. Attunement: a first crisis; a time to discover your strength. A time to concentrate and release personal power. A time of passionate creativity. Attribute: gives vitality, courage and strength; stimulates the heart.
Candle correspondence: White candle. Attunement: a phase of reflection; time to discover the whole of your inner life. A time to manifest your inner truth, faithfulness to personal discipline. Attribute: purity and protection; creates atmosphere for meditation and centering; innocence.
Seasonal attributes and goddess energy
The older European traditions placed a great emphasis on the Summer and Winter Solstices and the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes. Also of importance were the cross-quarter days, which marked the halfway points between the solstices and equinoxes. In the European tradition, all of these events had festivals celebrating certain Goddesses:
Candlemas (Feb 2)
Spring Equinox (approx Mar 22)
Beltane (May 2)
Summer Solstice (approx June 22)
Lammas (Aug 2)
Fall Equinox (approx Sep 22)
Samhain (Oct 31)
Winter Solstice (approx Dec 22)
Each year will have different lunar energies in force, depending on how the cycles fall.
Andraste (Celtic): Moon Goddess worshipped by Queen Boadicea; associated with the hare, divination.
Aphrodite (Greece): “Foam-born”; Moon Goddess; “She Who Binds Hearts Together”; “She who came from the sea”; Goddess of the Western Corner. She was portrayed as beautiful with blue eyes and light hair. She was once called Marianna meaning “the Ocean”. She was called virginal, meaning the she was a woman unto herself. Frankincense and myrrh were burned in Her temples.
The love of women was sacred to her. Her sacred animals were the heron, lovebird, swan, and dove.
Ariadne (Crete): High Fruitful Mother; another form of the Moon Goddess Britomartis. Robert Graves believed she was the consort of Dionysus. Images of her with snakes in her hands represent her oracle priestesses.
Arianrhood (Wales): “Silver Wheel”; Goddess of reincarnation; Full Moon Goddess. She was keeper of the Silver Wheel of Stars, symbolizing time and karma. The wheel is also called the Oar Wheel, a ship which carried dead warriors to the Moon-land. She is associated with beauty and reincarnation. Arianrhod is an aspect of Cerridwen, and is keeper of Caer Arianrhod, the “spiral castle” of royal purgatory. She is mother of Llew Llaw Gyffes. Lammas commemorates the death of this Dionysus/Hercules. It is observed with mourning, and a feast for dead kinsfolk. It is connected with the Tailltean Games of Ireland, full of chariot races and swordplay. Tailltean marriages, in honor of Llew, lasted “a year and a day.” Sometimes affiliated with the letter T, tinne, holly, Tuesday.
Artemis/Diana: Diana is the Roman Goddess of the wild and lady of beasts. She is also Goddess of mountains, woods, women, and childbirth. Her title “Queen of Heaven” was the Roman name for the Triple Goddess. He aspect is as Lunar Maiden, along with being Mother of Creatures and the Huntress or Destroyer. Diana is known for her liking for an exclusive female society. She was the child of sky-god Zeus and of Latona, who represents the Night. She is the twin of Apollo.
Artemis is usually associated with the bear. She is Moon Goddess of Childbirth. Maiden Goddess of the Hunt. Associated with the moon in October, the season of the Bacchanal revels, in which intoxicated celebrants rushed about on the mountains, waving the silver fir-branches, sacred to Artemis, spirally wreathed with ivy, in honor of Dionysus. She is sometimes affiliated with the letter G, gort, the flowering ivy; it is a yellow berried ivy, which grows in a spiral and symbolizes resurrection.
Athena (Greece): Bright-Eyed; Maiden Goddess; Mother Goddess of Athens. Sometimes referred to as Pallas Athena in memory of a close friend. Her sacred animal was the owl; associated with olive, oak, and intertwined snakes. She wore a helmet and breastplate and carried a shield and spear.
She is goddess of freedom and women’s rights; patroness of craftsmen, especially smiths, potters, weavers, and spinners. She rules over writing, music, the sciences, wisdom, crafts and arts, renewal, justice, prudence, wise counsel, peace, and strategy.
She is Androgynous Goddess of Wisdom. She can be traced to Anu/Anna, her name being “ath-enna.” Her messenger, the owl, is most vocal on moonlit nights in November, and then remains silent until February. It is this habit, along with their silent flight, the carrion-smell of their nests, and the shining of their eyes in the dark, which makes owls messengers of The Goddess, from whom, as the supreme source of prophecy, they derive their reputation for wisdom. Sometimes affiliated with the letter NG, ngetal, the reed, the symbol of royalty. NG is the month when the wind “whistles dismally through the reed beds of the rivers.” The reed is ready to cut in November.
Auchimalgen (Chile): Moon Goddess of the Araucanian Indians; protects again disasters and evil spirits through the fear she engenders. A red Moon was sacred to her, and signified the death of an important person.
Ba’alat (Phoenicia): Lady of Byblos; she wore either a cobra headdress or a disk between two horns. Similar to Egyptian Goddess Hathor.
Bast (Egypt): Cat-headed Goddess; mother of all cats. She was identified with Artemis, who was also called the mother of cats. Cats were Egypt’s sacred animal, but black cats in particular were sacred to Bast. Egyptian physicians would use the black cat symbol for healing. Cats were kept in her temple and embalmed when they died. Bast carried a sistrum in her right hand and a basket in her left. She is portrayed draped in green. She is goddess of fire, the Moon; associated with childbirth, fertility, joy, music, dance, protection against disease and evil spirits, warmth, all animals, intuition, and healing.
Bendis (Greece): Goddess of the Moon and fertility.
Blodeuwedd (Wales): The Ninefold Goddess of the Western Isles of Paradise; associated with death and reincarnation. Like Athena, owls were sacred to her. Robert Graves writes that Blodeuwedd had nine powers, a multiplication of the Triple Goddess. She is associated with lunar mysteries.
Brigit/Bride/Brighid (Ireland, Wales,): “Power”; “Renown”; she is the Fiery Arrow of Power (Breo-saighead). Called the poetess. Often called the Triple Brigits ; associated with Imbolc. Her female priesthood at Kildare numbered nineteen, the number of the Moon’s cycle. She is goddess of the hearth; associated with arts and crafts; physicians, agriculture, inspiration, learning, poetry, divination, smithcraft, animal husbandry. She is Triple Goddess of poetry, healing, smithcraft. The Virgin as Muse; Bride of the White Hills. Her symbol is the white swan. She is connected to Anu as Brigid is considered to be the daughter of The Dagda, usurper of Anu’s place as the deity of the Tuatha de Danaan, one of the ancient peoples of Northern Europe. Sometimes affiliated with the letter L, luis, rowan, Mountain Ash. Rowan was considered sacred to Brigid, and was used by the Druids for divination and oracular use. Her festival of Candlemas on Feb. 2 was the quickening of the year, Feile Brighde, the first of the great Irish fire feasts.
Caillech Bheare (Scotland): the Goddess in her ‘destroyer aspect;’ called the “Veiled One.”
Ceres (Rome): a moon/grain Goddess; identified with the Greek Demeter; mother of Prosperina.
Cerridwen (Wales): known as the dark moon Goddess and Goddess of Nature; also grain Goddess. She is associated with fertility, regeneration, inspiration, magick, enchantment, divination, astrology, herbs, science, poetry, and knowledge. She is White Goddess of Life-in-Death and Death-in-Life; White Lady of Death and Inspiration. She is known as Barley Goddess. Combination of wen (white) and crdd (gain, inspired). Owner of the cauldron of inspiration. Many animal forms: white cat, mare, sow, wolf. Can be traced to Albina, “The White Goddess,” the eldest of the Danaids, of whom Britain derives its earliest name, Albion. She is traced further back to have been the Danaan Barley Goddess of Argos, and thus to Anu. She is sometimes affiliated with the letter B, beth, the birch tree, which dispels evil spirits. It is the first tree to put out new leaves in spring.
Ch’ang-O/Heng-O (China): Chinese goddess of the moon; Her palace is called the Great Cold on the Moon. At the Full Moon of the Autumn Equinox, there was a females-only celebration where women offered the goddess crescent Moon cakes (called “Yeu-ping”) and statues of little hares.
Changing Woman (Native American, Apache): Native American moon goddess, the “Mother of All.” She presides over dreamwork, shape-shifting, insight, wisdom, birth, and joy; associated with flowers and rainbows.
Circe (Greece): a dark moon goddess, known as “She-Falcon” and Fate-Spinner. Called the deathbird (kirkos or falcon). As the circle (cirque) she was the fate-spinner, weaver of destiny. Ancient Greek writers described her as Circe of the Braided Tresses since she was reputed to manipulate the forces of creation and destruction by knots and braids in her hair. The isle of Aeaea was a funerary shrine to her; it is thought that the name comes from the grief wail; associated with physical love, enchantment, vengeance, divinatory dreams, dar magic and sorcery.
Coyolxauhqui (Aztec): moon goddess sometimes referred to as “Golden Bells.” She is depicted with golden bells on her cheeks. The real moon was actually called Mextli. In Teotihuacan, north of the present Mexico City, there is an ancient Aztec city with a Pyramid of the Moon. She is associated with harvests and children; goddess of the night, and illness.
Cybele (Greece): goddess of the Earth and caverns; revered as Great Mother. Her symbol is the crescent moon. She is associated with the natural world and its formation, wild beasts, and revenge. She was Lion and Bee Goddess of Phrygia. She is the queen bee about whom male drones swarm in midsummer. She is sometimes affiliated with the letter U, ura, heather, the midsummer tree, red and passionate. It is associated with mountains and bees, and sacred to the love aspect of The Goddess. White heather is the opposite, and protects against acts of passion.
Danu (Ireland): most likely the same as Anu, ancestress of the Tuatha De Danann; thought to be the Mother of the gods. She is patroness of rivers, waters, wells, prosperity, and wisdom.
Demeter (Greece): a moon and grain Goddess. Mother of Kore, who became Persephone after her return from the Underworld. The Eleusinian Mysteries centered around her spiritual teachings. She is Mother Goddess of Barley and the Harvest. Demeter was the Greek name for Cerridwen, thus she share the same animal connections, such as the Mare Goddess, Epona, a Sow Goddess. She was known as Ceres to the Romans. Her earlier name, Danae, suggests a connection to Anu. She is sometimes affiliated with the letter M, muin, the vine; also with the letter E, eadha, the aspen, the shield-makers tree, and the tree of coffins.
Dictynna (Crete): A virgin forest and moon goddess; sometimes called Britomartis.
Diiwica (Georgia, Armenia): Goddess of the Hunt who ruled over forests, horses, wild animals, victory. Similar to the Roman Diana.
Dione/Nemorensis/Nemetona (Goddess of the Moon-Grove) (Greece, Rome): originally the oracle Goddess of Dodona before the shrine was taken over by Zeus. In Italy, the woodland lake of Nemi had a woodland sanctuary dedicated to Dione/Diana. The reigning priest was called King of the Wood and held his post by right of combat.
Han Lu (China): A Moon and harvest Goddess.
Hathor/Athyr/Het-Hert/ (House of Womb Above)/Hat-Hor (House or Womb of Horus) (Egypt): “The golden”; “Queen of the West” (or the Dead); “the Lady of the Sycamore”; “House of the Face”; mother of all Gods and Goddesses; Queen of Heaven; Moon Goddess; similar to Aphrodite. Considered self-produced. She carried the Sacred Eye of Ra. The mirror and sistrum were sacred to her. Her appearance could be as a cow-headed Goddess or a human-headed woman with horns, cow’s ears, and heavy tresses. She liked to embody herself in the sistrum to drive away evil spirits; another of her instruments was the tambourine. She cared for the dead, carrying them to the afterworld. She was the protectress of women, Goddess of Joy, flowers, the Moon, tombs, motherhood, beauty, marriage, singers and dancers, artists, wine, happiness, protection, astrology, prosperity, and strength.
Hecate (Greece, Thrace, Rome): “Most lovely one”; “the Distant one”; Silver-Footed Queen of the Night; Goddess of the Moon, the dark hours and the Underworld; the Crone; Queen of the world of spirits; Goddess of Witchcraft; snake Goddess; Great Mother; Great Goddess of Nature; Lady of the Wild Hunt. A Goddess of the Amazons, her chariot was pulled by dragons. It was said she wore a shimmering headdress and was second to none in powers of sorcery.
She could shape-shift to change ages or forms; she could rejuvenate or kill. She was the third Moon aspect of the Hag (Dark Moon) or the Crone (revered as the Carrier of Wisdom). One of her symbols was the cauldron. A three-faced image represented her triple aspects; she was then called Triformis. As Hecate Trevia, Hecate of the Three Ways, her images stood at three-way crossroads where offerings of dogs, honey, and black ewe lambs were left on Full Moon nights. Divination and communication with the dead was performed in these places.
The oldest Greek form of the Triple Goddess, her festivals were held at night by torchlight. She was known as a huntress goddess who knew her way in the realm of spirits; all the secret powers of Nature were at her command; she was thought to have control over birth, life, and death.
She was patroness of priestesses. She is associated with the waning moon, dark magick, prophecy, charms and spells, vengeance, averting evil, revealing karmic events, enchantments, riches, victory, wisdom, transformation, reincarnation, dogs, purification, endings, crossroads, renewal, and regeneration.
She isNew Moon Goddess of Night and Death. The Nightmare. Queen of Elfin or Faerie. She contains the New Moon qualities of all Great Goddesses, and is thus The Black Screaming Hag. Sometimes affiliated with the letter I, idho, the yew tree, the tree of witches.
New Moon Goddesses are sometimes frightening but they represent the feminine principle that “destroys lies.” The Indian Goddess Kali is known for this. These goddesses represent the Plutonian energies in which, when the Goddess is through with you, there may be nothing left but ashes, but the phoenix of rebirth and new growth can now emerge unfettered by untruth and old, outgrown ideas.
Hel (Norse): Ruler of Nilfheim; Nether, or Dark Moon. Goddess who ruled over the land of the dead; her realm was not necessarily a place of punishment– there were separate areas for good souls who died peacefully and those who were evil.
Hera (Greece): The Greek counterpart to the Roman Goddess Juno. She was consort of Zeus; daughter of Cronus and Rhea.
Hina (Hawaii): Moon Goddess with the dual aspects of life giver, life destroyer.
Holda/Hulda (Benign)/Bertha/Berchta (White Lady) (German, Norse): North Germanic name for Hel; “White Lady”; “Black Earth Mother”; the Goddess of Winter; she is the crone aspect of the moon. Among the North Germanic tribes, it was believed she rode with Odhinn on the Wild Hunt. Tenth century sources indicate that women rode with her in wild night rides. The plant sacred to her is holly. She is known as a Goddess of fate; associated with karma, the arts, revenge.
Huitaca (Columbia, South America): A Moon Goddess who weaves dreams, and sometimes instructive ones.
Idunn/Iduna (Norse): Goddess of eternal youth who kept the golden apples, a symbol of the Moon. She is associated with childbirth, Spring, vision and enlightenment.
Ishtar/Inanna/Astarte/Esther (Mesopotamia, etc.): the lady of sorrows and battles; Queen of Heaven; Goddess of the Moon and evening; Shining One; Ruler of the Heavens; Source of the Oracles of Prophecy; Lady of Battles and Victory; Lady of Vision; Possessor of the Tablets of Life’s Records. As Sharrat Shame (Queen of Heaven), she was offered sacrificial cakes.
As a warrior goddess, she rode in a chariot drawn by seven lions. Other images show her seated on her lion throne with horns, bow and arrows, a serpent scepter, holding a sword, or with dragons by her sides. She wore a rainbow necklace similar to the Norse Goddess Freyja. During the night of the Full Moon there would be joyous celebrations held in her various temples.
She is Goddess of the positive and negative sides of all she ruled; patroness of priestesses; guardian of the law, and teacher. She rules over love, fertility, marriage, lions, the dying and begetting power of the world, purification, initiation, and overcoming obstacles.
Isis (Egypt): Supreme Egyptian Goddess; Moon Goddess; Great Mother and Goddess; Giver of Life. Isis translates literally as “moisture.” As Tait, Isis was known as the weaver and knotter of the threads of life. With Osiris, Isis (the mother), and Horus (the divine child) made up a Holy Trinity. Her sacred animal was the cow. along Her sistrum, a rattle, was carved with a cat image that represented the Moon. Sometimes she was portrayed with wings.
She was regarded as a powerful magician. She is associated with marriage and the home, the Moon, motherhood, fertility, childbirth, purification, reincarnation, womanhood, healing, divination, agriculture, the arts, and protection. She was patroness of priestesses.
Ixchel (Maya): “The Rainbow.” The Mayan Moon was represented by a U-shaped (uterine) symbol. Goddess of childbirth, fertility, lunar cycles, weaving of the fabric of life, healing, medicine, the Moon, pregnancy, floods, weaving, and domestic arts. She is similar to Spider Woman. Young Mayan women would travel to her temple on the sacred Isle of Women as part of the rites of passage.
Juno (Rome): Moon Goddess; Queen of Heaven; Earth Goddess; She who warns; protectress of women. As Juno Lucetia and Juno Lucina, she was the celestial light. She sometimes held a scepter, thunderbolt, or spear and shield. She is the protectress of marriage, the home, and childbirth. She is associated with light, fertility, the Moon, renewal, purification, death.
Kali/Kali Ma (India): “The Black Mother”; Dark Goddess; the Terrible; Goddess of Death; Great Goddess; the Crone; Mother of Karma. She is patroness of Witches and is seen as having a dual personality exhibiting traits of gentleness and love, revenge and terrible death. She rules over every form of death and also governs every form of life. She is manifested as a triple goddess: the three divisions of the year; three phases of the Moon; three sections of the cosmos; three stages of life; three types of priestesses at her shrines. She is thought to command the weather by braiding or releasing her hair. It is said that her karmic wheel devours time itself. She is pictured with black skin and a horrible face smeared with blood, and has four arms. She wears a necklace of skulls and is draped with snakes. She has a third eye; her four hands hold weapons and heads. Violence against women is forbidden by her. She is associated with regeneration, revenge and fear, dark magick, reincarnation, intuition, and dreams.
Kore (Greece, Rome): Persephone before she descended into the Underworld; daughter of Demeter. A crescent new moon goddess.
Kuan Yin (China): Goddess of compassion, children, childbirth, fertility and the Moon.
Lakshmi (India): Goddess of love and beauty; legend says she gave Indra the drink of soma (wise blood) from her own body. She was said to have been born from the churning of the milk ocean. She is associated with good fortune, prosperity, success, love, and feminine beauty.
Leucippe (Greece): The night mare. White horses were sacred to her.
Lilith/Lilithu (Hebrew, Babylonia, Sumeria): Moon Goddess; patroness of Witches; female principle of the universe. Her sacred bird is the owl. Her name may have come from the Sumerio-Babylonian Goddess Belit-ili or Belili. A tablet from Ur, about 2,000 BCE, mentions the name Lillake. Protectress of all pregnant women, mothers, and children. She is associated with wisdom, regeneration, feminine allure, the dangerous seductive qualities of the Moon.
Luna (Rome): The second aspect of the Moon; the Full Moon as lover and bride; giver of visions. Daughter of Hyperion and sister of the Sun. She is associated with enchantments, love, and spells.
Maia (Greece): Full Moon Goddess connected with May and the Hare Moon.
Mama Quilla (Inca): “Mother Moon”; Moon Goddess; Mother of the Incas; her image was a silver disk with a human face. Adjoining the Temple of the Sun in Cuzco, Peru, was a small chapel of the Moon. She had no widespread worship. She is associated with married women, the calendar, and religious festivals.
Manat (Arabia): Dark Moon Goddess; “Time”; “Fate”; Karma. The Arabic word “mana” which comes from this name is used in the sense of luck. On the road between Mecca and Medina was a large uncut black stone which was worshipped as her image.
Mari/Mariham/Meri/Marratu (Syria, Caldea, Persia): The name of the Great Goddess; she wore a blue robe and pearl necklace, both symbols of the sea. She is associated with fertility, childbirth, the Moon, and the sea.
The Yule Feast is a Saturnalia for the pastoral sacred king Hercules (Jesus). It commemorates the solstice sacrifice of the king by his twelve “merry” companions. Thus, there is a connection to the Robin Goodfellow (Robin Hood) tales. Marian was the earliest spelling, in English, of the mother of the Christian “king,” and was one of the many forms of Mary-Goddess worship. Some of her other names are Mary Gypsy, Miriam, Mariamne, Myrrhine, Myrtea, Myrrha and Marina; also the merry-maid or “mermaid.” Merry England became known as such because it was the country most engrossed with Mary-worship. She is sometimes affiliated with the acorn and mistletoe, the rock-dove and the serpent.
Mawu/Mawa (Dahomey in West Africa): Supreme Goddess; creatress of all things; Great Goddess. The Fon of Benin in West Africa worship Mawu as a Moon Goddess and creatress. She was known as a gentle and forgiving Goddess. She is associated with remembering dreams, seeing divine influence in our lives, and revelation of Mysteries.
Minerva (Rome): Maiden Goddess; Patroness of craftsmen; Goddess of women’s rights and freedom. She wore a breastplate and helmet and carried a spear. Her sacred bird is the owl. She is associated with protection, writing, music, the sciences, arts and crafts, renewal, prudence, wise counsel, peace, and medicine.
Morrigan, The/Morrigu/MorganMorrighan (Celtic): “Great Queen”; “Supreme War Goddess”; “Specter Queen”; shape-shifter. Great Mother; Moon Goddess; Great White Goddess; Patroness of priestesses and Witches; Queen of the Faeries. She is associated with ravens and crows; rivers and lakes; revenge, night, magick, and prophecy. She is Goddess of the Sea and Great Queen of Fate. Morrigan was capable of assuming the form of a raven, and was often invoked during battle to bring death to the enemy. Like other New Moon Goddesses, she is associated with the unpredictable aspects of feminine energy. She was the basis for Morgan le Faye, the Goddess who conveyed King Arthur’s body across the sea to Avalon at his death, and Mary Magdalene. She is sometimes affiliated with the letter N, nion, ash tree, The ash is sacred to Posidion, god of the sea. It is considered the tree of sea-power, and the power resident in water.
Muses, The (Greece): Nine Moon Goddesses; three (the number of the Triple Goddess) times three makes the Moon number nine. Each Goddess rules over a specific area of inspiration and art: history, music, tragedy, comedy, poetry, art, astronomy and astrology, and eloquence of speech.
Nanna/Nana/Anna/Inanna (Norse): Aesir Goddess; “The Moon”; Great Mother; Earth Goddess. She is associated with love and gentleness.
Nanna/Nana/Nina (Sumeria, Assyria): Lady; Ancient Mother; Holy One of Many Names; Great Mother; the tripartite Moon. The Judge of humankind on the last day of every year. An image of a winged lioness guarded her temple. She was represented with a fish-tail or serpent-tail. She is associated with herbs, the Moon, healing, magick, intercession, interpretation of dreams, crops, civilization.
Nehellania (Norse): Nether, or Dark Moon. Sometimes connected with Hel.
Neith/Neit/Net/Nit (Egypt): “The Huntress”; “Opener of the Ways”; Great Goddess; Mother of the Gods; Goddess of the lower heavens; warrior-Goddess and protectress; Lady of the West. Universal mother; the Spirit behind the Veil of Mysteries; Primal Abyss. Patroness of domestic arts, weaving, hunting, medicine, war, weapons. Protectress of women and marriage. Her name means “I have come from myself,” or self begotten. The Greeks identified her with Pallas Athena, who also had a dual role as warrior and woman skilled in domestic arts. She wore the red crown of Lower Egypt and held a bow and two arrows. Part of her sanctuary at Sais was a school of medicine, the House of Life. She is associated with herbs, magick, healing, mystical knowledge, rituals, meditation.
Nemesis (Greek): Dark Moon Goddess of karmic retribution.
Nepthys (Egypt): Dark Moon Goddess; sister of Isis and mother of Anubis by her brother Osiris. Her symbols are the cup and the lotus. She is associated with rebirth, reincarnation, building good upon the ashes of hopelessness. The great revealer and giver of dreams; understanding the Mysteries.
Ngami (Africa): Moon Goddess.
Norns/Weird Sisters/Wyrd/Wurd (Norse, Germanic, Anglo-Saxon): Similar to the Greek Fates. They tended the Well of Urd near one of the roots of the World Tree Yggdrasil. They were named Urd (the Past), Verthandi or Verdandi (the Present), and Skuld (the Future). The water from their well turned everything white, thus connecting them with the three phases of the Moon.
Ostara/Eostre/Ostarra (Germany, Northern Europe): Moon Goddess whose name survives as the word Easter. As a fertility Goddess of the Spring Equinox, she was associated with hares, rabbits, and eggs.
Pandia (Greece): One of a female trinity of Moon Goddesses representing the phases of the Moon. The others were Erse and Nemea.
Persephone/Prosperina (Greece and Rome): Daughter of Demeter (Ceres) who was first called the Kore. She took the name Persephone after she descended to the Underworld. Sometimes called Queen of Hades. Goddess of Spring, Rebirth, Planting. The traditional story is that Hades, God of the Underworld, fell in love with Persephone and kidnapped her. Her mother, Demeter, responsible for bountiful harvests and plenty, was so distraught she caused a blight upon the land and nothing would grow (winter). By the time Demeter discovered where Persephone was, she had already eaten six pomegranate seeds from the tree in the underworld. Because she had eaten the food of the dead, Persephone was only allowed to be reunited with her mother for six months of the year. When she returns to her mother, all the world rejoices and spring begins. Winter comes again when her mother sorrows for her at her return to Hades. She is sometimes affiliated with the letter O, onn, gorse and furze. Furze fires are lighted on hills in spring to make room for new growth. A compound of Onn and Nion supplies the date of her festival: the spring equinox at the close of the ash month.
Saravasti (India): “Stimulator”; inventor of Sanskrit and discoverer of soma in the Himalayas. Represented as a graceful woman with white shin, wearing a crescent Moon on her brow, and seated on a lotus flower. The highest spiritual body center is the thousand petalled lotus called the place of the hidden Moon. She is associated with the creative arts, science, music, poetry, learning, and teaching.
Scathach (Ireland, Scotland): “Shadow, shade”; “The Shadowy One”; “She Who Strikes Fear.” Patroness of blacksmiths. Dark Moon Goddess. She is associated with healing, magick, prophecy, and martial arts.
Selene (Greece): The second aspect of the Moon; the Full Moon as lover and bride. She was depicted as a beautiful woman with a gold crown. The woodland God Pan fell in love with her. She is associated with magick, spells, and enchantments.
Seshat/Sesheta (Egypt): “Mistress of the house of books”; “the secretary”; “mistress of the house of architects.” The female equivalent of Thoth, this Goddess was in fact older than Thoth. An early Seshat was depicted as a woman wearing on her head a star, a reversed crescent, and two long straight plumes. Sometimes the image was only a star on top of a pole surmounted by a downturned crescent. Later the crescent was replaced with two long down-turned horns. She was the known as the record-keeper of the Gods. She is associated with writing, letters, archives, measurement, calculation, record-keeping, hieroglyphics, time, stars, history, books, learning, inventions.
Shing-Moo (China): Our Lady Moon.
Skadi (Norse): “Harm”; daughter of the Giant Thjasi and wife of Njord. Associated with rightful retribution, mountains, Winter, revenge, dark magick.
Spider Woman (Native American, Southwestern): Sometimes called Spider Grandmother. Associated with the Moon.
Tanit/Tanith (Phoenicia, Carthage): Moon Goddess; Great Goddess; similar to Ishtar.
Tlazolteotl (Aztec): Earth Goddess; Lady of Witches. She is goddess of the Crescent Moon and associated with the snake and bat. Worship was performed at crossroads, similar to the Greek Hecate. She is said to have rode naked on a broom through the night skies, wearing a peaked hat and holding a red snake and a blood-stained rope. Four aspects of herself were recognized as separate Goddesses: Tiacapan, Teicu, Tlaco, and Xocutxin. She is associated with physical love, fertility, death, Witchcraft, sexuality, gambling, temptation, and black magick.
Ursala/Orsel (Slavic-Russian): Moon Goddess also connected with bears.
Venus (Rome): Moon Goddess; patroness of vegetation and flowers. She was strong, proud, and loving. She was represented as virginal, meaning that she remained independent. Associated with love, beauty, the joy of physical love, fertility, continued creation, renewal, herbal magick.
Wahini-Hai (Polynesia): Creatress of the world and Mother Goddess; also called the Moon, and the first woman. Joseph Campbell says that her name was used in the word wahine, meaning “woman.”
White Shell Woman (Native American, Navajo): Moon Goddess.
Xochiquetzal (Aztec): Goddess of all women; a Mexican form of Aphrodite. She was also a Moon virgin, the complete Triple Goddess, and had a son/lover much like Adonis. Associated with love, marriage, music, spinning and weaving, magick, art, changes.
“Your room is ready.”
Crone n.: Great Hag of History, long-lasting one; Survivor of the perpetual witchcraze of patriarchy, whose status is determined not merely by chronological age, but by Crone-logical considerations; one who has Survived early stages of the Otherworld Journey and who therefore has Dis-covered depths of Courage, Strength, and Wisdom in her Self. –Mary Daly’s Wickedary
The Crone is the third aspect of the Triple Goddess. She represents wintertime, and old age. She is the knower of mysteries and the power behind transformation. Our Crone time is a reaping of the benefits of experience and wisdom. The Crone can be a teacher and Wise Woman, passing along wisdom and learning to the next generation of women. In mythology her name is Hecate, Kali, Baba Yaga, Cerridwen, the Morrigan. Animals associated with the Crone are the snake and the cat.
Images of the Crone
I visualize the Crone as the wise old woman living in the woods, living alone in a small cottage. She is also a fairy godmother; someone who has what I need to overcome a problem, or someone who offers strength and protection in a vulnerable time of need. I imagine she is a Medicine Woman, wise woman of a native American tradition, who can heal body and spirit with knowledge and magic and herbs. She is necessary to integrating all aspects of myself.
The Crone is an aspect of women that is feared, seemingly because she reminds us of old age and death. Her image has become one of the wicked witch with a cauldron. Her power is not respected and attempts are made to try to repress this power.
Fear of the dark side of our personality is hard to admit, much less deal with. We are willing to repress this dark side in order to appear in control, to be acceptable.
Accepting the Crone
To acknowledge this aspect of ourselves is a path toward healing. We can embrace this phase of our lives and enter a time of self-loving and acceptance. In her image, we can be teachers, healers, visionaries. We can embrace the solitude lovingly.
The Crone and the Four Elements
The element of Air represents intelligence, thought, and a facility for poetry, language, and myth. The image of cutting is also appropriate– we can critique, prune, say no. We can cut off old paths in order to begin new ones.
The element of Earth is familiar with the body and the earth. We are adept at healing ourselves and others. We attune ourselves with the seasons and the methods for planting, cultivation, and herbs. We are capable and wise in the ways of money, seeing its connection to service and personal energy. We are commited women, showing practicality and dependability.
The element of Water is familiar and accepting of the emotions, both bad and good. We have satisfying relationships with other beings, showing compassion and love. We accept our needs and express them in simple ways. We are adept at insight and divination.
The element of Fire represents the ownership of the secret mysteries of fire and energy. We conserve and spend energy wisely. Fire is kundalini (sexual fire) and the crone knows how to direct this energy wisely. Fire is also representative of the will, which the crone has mastered fully.
Rulers: Sylphs who inhabit the world of trees, winds, and flowers
Attracted by: oils, incense
Color: red or yellow
Tools: incense, bells
Symbols: breath, wind, communication, thought, feathers, music and instruments, poetry, songs, birds, butterflies, fairies
Ritual: Dawn, sunrise, Spring, herbal knowledge, plant growth, travel, finding lost things
Stones: clear quartz, snow quartz, blue lace agate, turquoise
Cloud and Wind goddesses: North Wind, Isis
Attracted by: candles, lamps, fire
Color: white or red
Tools: athame, candles, burned herbs or requests written on paper
Symbols: lightning, volcanoes, rainbow, Sun, stars
Ritual: Summer, noon, change, love, energy, healing, purification, destruction
Stones: carnelian, tiger eye, ruby, garnet
Fire goddesses: Lucina, Amaterasu, Chantico, Pele
Rulers: Undines and those who live in the sea, lakes, and streams
Attracted by: water, washes, solutions
Color: gray or blue
Tools: Cauldron, chalice, mirror, shells,
Symbols: oceans, lakes, rivers, wells, rain, mist, fog
Ritual: Fall, sunset, emotions, taste and smell, communion with the spiritual, friendships, happiness, dreams, forgiveness
Stones: opal, blue quartz, pearls
Water goddesses: Yemaya, Tethys, Ondine, Aphrodite, Sarasvati
Rulers: Gnomes who inhabit the interior of the Earth and are the consciousness of gems and minerals
Attracted by: salts, powders
Color: black or green
Tools: salt, stones, gems, trees, cord magic
Symbols: stones, mountains, soil, caves, body, flesh, bone, coins, pine cones
Ritual: night, midnight, Winter, riches and money, surrendering self-will, employment, stability
Stones: smoky quartz, obsidian, onyx, moss agate, jade, green aventurine
Earth goddesses: Gaia, Demeter
We are the earth.
Earth is stardust-come-to-life, a magic cauldron
where the heart of the universe is being formed. In
me, the Earth and its creatures find their voice.
Through my eyes the stars look back on themselves in
wonder. I am the earth. This is my body.
We are the air.
Air is the breath of the Earth, the movement of life,
the quick, violent storm, and the slow, caressing
breeze. In my breathing, life is received and given
back. My breath unites me to all things, to the crea-
tures that make the oxygen, and to the people that
share the same breath: yesterday a victim of AIDS; today
a soldier in the Middle East; tomorrow, a poor woman
in the Third World. I am air. This is my breath.
We are fire.
Fire is the energy of the universe, the source of
power and new life. In my thoughts burn the fires of
the original eruption of life; in my emotions, lightning
flashes; in my love, new life is conceived. I participate
in power. I share in the energy of the universe, to keep
warm, to fuel my body, to create my relationships. I
am fire. This is my power.
We are water.
Water is the womb of the Earth, from which all life
is born. The oceans flow through the Earth, bringing
abundance; the oceans flow through me, carrying
food, recycling waste, expressing emotions. I am water.
This is my life.
How beautiful are thy dwelling places.
It’s up to us
to re-enchant this planet Earth
We are the elves and giants
we are the shining ones
daughters of the Moon and
sons of the Sun
We are the shapeshifters
we are the mysterious light
shrouded in mists at
the dawn of our time
and it’s up to us to re-enchant
this living planet Earth
Up to us to midwife
at our own rebirth
up to us to send our dead
ancient pathways to the future
up to us to re-enchant this
living planet Earth
It’s up to us to break the spell
that steals the colors
from the world
and leaves it lifeless
it was our spell
we can break it
It’s up to us to break the spell
that steals the music from
the Wind and Rain
it is our spell
we can break it
We will dance the magic dance
and our bodies will remember
we will sing the magic songs
and together we’ll remember
how to live together
how to love each other
how to ride the eagle
how to call the deer
–Will Ashe Bacon
We are all on a journey together…
To the center of the universe…
Into yourself, into another.
It is to a center which is everywhere
That is the holy journey…
First you need only look:
Notice and honor the radiance of
Everything about you…
Play in this universe. Tend
All these shining things around you:
The smallest plant, the creatures and
objects in your care.
Be gentle and nurture. Listen…
As we experience and accept
All that we really are…
We grow in care.
We begin to embrace others
As ourselves, and learn to live
As one among many…
May the Holy Spirit guide use as we seek to heal and to nurture
the earth and all of its creatures, to live in the midst of creation,
and to love one another as brothers and sisters with all life.
And may we travel from this moment forward in awareness of our
bonds to one another and to the Earth, and in commitment to
wherever they might be.
–U.N. Environmental Sabbath
I am at home in the universe. I carry my home with
me. No matter where I go, I cannot be less than at
home. The forests are the rooms of the house of my
childhood. The winds are my mother’s arms. The sun
is my child’s laughter. The caterpillar crawling on my
hand is my brother’s arm thrown over my shoulder.
The children playing in the street of another country
are my children. The stranger’s bed encloses me in
the sleep of my covers. The earth is my home & its
creatures are my family. There is no loneliness to over-
take me. I am not stricken to find my home. I breathe
interstellar space. The world is pasture for my mind,
forage for my imagination. The universe is at home in
my mind, its creatures live friendly within me. I live
warm and friendly with my fellows in the starry
Our Mother, whose body is the Earth,
Sacred is thy being. Thy gardens grow.
Thy will be done in our cities,
as it is in nature.
Thanks be this day
for food, and air, and water.
Forgive us our sins against Earth,
as we are learning to forgive one another.
And surrender us not unto extinction,
but deliver us from our folly.
For thine is the beauty, and the power,
and all life, from birth to death,
from beginning to end. Amen.
So be it.
I am the beauty of the green earth
And the white moon among the stars
And the mystery of the waters
And the desire of human hearts.
Call unto your soul: Arise and come unto me
For I am the soul of nature who gives
Life to the universe.
From me all things proceed
And unto me all things must return.
All the names I know from nurse–
Gardener’s garters, Shepherd’s purse,
Bachelor’s buttons, Lady’s smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock.
Fairy places, fairy things
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames
These must all be fairy names!
Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house
Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme
Where the braver fairies climb!
Fair are grown-up people’s trees
But the fairest woods are these
Where if I were not so tall
I should live for good and all.
–Robert Louis Stevenson
Living the Authentic Life
Simple abundance is
an inner journey
a spiritual and practical course in creative living
a tapestry of contentment
‘Tis a gift to be simple,
‘Tis a gift to be free,
‘Tis a gift to come down
Where we ought to be
And when we find ourselves
In the place that’s right
‘Twill be in the valley
Of love and delight.
Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance
Several years before this book was written, Sarah Ban Breathnach was hurtling herself through life “as if it were an out-of-body experience.” She wanted to write a book that would show how to reconcile all longings–deep spiritual and creative longings– with multiple conflicting commitments in the modern world. In order to write this book, she said she had to do some stock-taking and enter into extreme introspection. During this time, she came up with 6 “practical, creative, and spiritual principles:” Gratitude, Simplicity, Order, Harmony, Beauty, and Joy.
These principles became a catalyst for redefining her life and values. The book evolved from a theme of living a manageable lifestyle to living in a state of grace. “Finding the sacred in the ordinary” parallels Thomas Moore’s theme in Care of the Soul.
Ban Breathnach asserts that everyone can live an authentic life by exploring these principles. “The authentic self is the Soul made visible.”
“With enlightenment and self-awareness, we can reguide and realign our whole selves: our bodies, by finding new ways of moving and celebrating them and by adding good food in amounts they tell us they need; our souls, our sense of ourselves as good and worthwhile, by connecting them to the earth and to each other.” –Diana Roesch
The entry for May 13th is entitled “Honoring the Great Mother.” The author refers to meditating on the “Great Mother who can inspire us all; the divine, feminine Spirit of nurturance known as The Goddess, so revered in ancient times and being rediscovered by women today.” She mentions the need to seek out the maternal and conforting aspect of Divinity “in order to learn how to mother ourselves.” Think about ways you can mother yourself every day.